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FC Barcelona are 2022-23 UEFA Women's Champions League winners after a stunning come-from-behind victory over VfL Wolfsburg in the final on Saturday, 3-2. The Germans had control of the match in the first half with goals by Ewa Pajor and Alexandra Popp, but the 2-0 lead turned out not to be enough. A second-half onslaught from the Blaugrana blindsided the leaders with two unanswered goals by Patricia Guijarro to equalize. Former Wolfsburg player Fridolina Rolfo provided the game-winning goal and final dagger against her old club after Wolfsburg failed to clear the ball. 

It's the second title for Barcelona after four appearances in the Champions League final. Wolfsburg are still on the hunt for their first UWCL title since 2014. 

Barcelona's second half leads to second title

Whatever manager Jonatan Giráldez said to his team at halftime changed everything. They entered the second half down 2-0 despite exiting the first 45 minutes dominating possession (67%) and 312 total passes compared to 159 by Wolfsburg. An early brace by Guijarro was the catalyst to turn the tide against the Frauen-Bundesliga side.

Despite struggling with the aggressive press from Wolfsburg, the Catalans finally took advantage of the open spaces as the Germans were further fatigued down the stretch. Guijarro, Aitana Bonmati, and Keria Walsh showing once again, even with the absence of Alexia Putellas, that they are the best midfield trio in the world. The group finally has a second UWCL title after four finals appearances and disappointments against Lyon in 2019 and 2022.

Former players haunt Wolfsburg

Caroline Graham Hansen, a former Wolfsburg player, recorded the assists on Barcelona's opening goal. The winger has been pivotal in their Champions League campaign and was the hero during their semifinals against Chelsea. She's not unfamiliar with Champions League disappointment with Barcelona, and her ability to change a game with her patience on the ball helped the team in crucial moments. 

"I think this game had every emotion you could possibly have," Hansen said after the game. "Two-nil down at halftime, I had a big flashback from the last final. And then [I] was like 'that's not going to happen again,' and then we go out there and turn the game around and win it."

Rolfo's game-winner made Blaugrana fans errupt at Philips Stadion in Eidenhoven. The third goal wasn't your typical, beautiful Barcelona build-up, but rather a product of a broken play. It was just a gritty, put-a-boot-through-the-ball type of goal, and it was all that was needed to seal the victory. 

"I'm so emotional, I never thought this would happen," Rolfo said in post-game comments. "After two-zero in the beginning, I felt like we could do it, but it was really hard. We showed so much mentality today. I'm so proud of the team."

What's next

The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup is less than 50 days out. Several players across both finalists will represent their national teams when the group stages kicks off. The World Cup will begin on July 20 when co-hosts New Zealand face Norway and Australia welcome Ireland.